One press critic’s theory: People in Birmingham don’t love their newspaper the way that New Orleans residents love the Times-Picayune, so there aren’t any Save-the-News rallies.
“The News spent decades building a bad reputation for itself,” writes Kyle Whitmire. “It defended segregation and was not willing to hold up a mirror to the city it covered. Slowly it moved to the right side of history, but when it did, it did so with reporting that was stripped of any voice or editorial latitude.”
Birmingham News columnist John Archibald says he’s been hearing the why-no-protests? question too.
I hear that it is because we are too far right, or that we are too far left. I’ve heard that we are only interested in black people, and that we hate black people. I have heard we have outlived our usefulness, and that we don’t dig hard enough.
To those people I say … what have you been aggregating?
If you want to look at why New Orleans residents protest newspaper cuts and the people of Birmingham don’t, look at the nature of the cities, says Archibald.
New Orleans has identity and pride. Birmingham has division and hostility.
We can’t get together to “save” anything, because we can’t agree that anything is worth saving.